At least eight state well being departments have cautioned residents over West Nile virus danger within the final week amid a seasonal peak and instances reported in people and animals, on the uncommon event leading to dying.
State well being officers from Connecticut, Idaho, Massachusetts, Utah, North Dakota, Louisiana, Delaware and New Hampshire launched preventive steering on West Nile virus, the main reason behind mosquito-borne illness within the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The virus is commonly unfold by the chunk of an contaminated mosquito, with instances usually occurring from summer season by fall. There are not any medicines or vaccines for West Nile virus and officers say one of the best ways to keep away from an infection is by stopping mosquito bites.
Dr. Philip Armstrong, a medical entomologist on the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, reported a late-season surge in contaminated mosquitoes, noting that the danger of contracting West Nile virus will proceed till October, when mosquito exercise ends. The state reported a 3rd resident, aged 50-59 of Hartford, contaminated with the virus. The resident is recovering after experiencing encephalitis, officers mentioned.
Meanwhile, Idaho detected West Nile virus exercise in new areas this season, and as of Sept. 1 famous six human infections all involving extreme neurologic illness, together with one dying. Last yr, there was one reported human an infection in the identical timeframe.
“The conditions are right for mosquitoes to transmit the virus now until a killing frost eliminates the mosquito populations,” Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, Idaho state public well being veterinarian within the Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Welfare, mentioned in a assertion. “Idahoans should assume that WNV is a risk anytime and anywhere mosquitoes are active.”
Symptoms of an infection can embrace fever, headache, physique aches, nausea, swollen lymph glands and a pores and skin rash, although an infection may end up in extreme sickness, notably amongst adults age 50 and older. In extreme instances, an infection may cause excessive fever, extreme headache, stiff neck, altered psychological state and dying, officers word.
Massachusetts officers introduced the yr’s first animal case, and 4 human instances earlier this month. The state additionally raised the West Nile virus danger degree from reasonable to excessive in 27 communities given rainfall, climate situations appropriate for mosquito exercise, human and animal infections and extra mosquitos carrying the virus.
“September is the month when we are most likely to see people get infected with West Nile virus,” Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke mentioned in a assertion. “While we advise everyone to take steps to avoid mosquito bites, this is especially important if you are over the age of 50 or have an immune compromising condition. It is also important to know that as overnight temperatures get cooler, mosquito activity right around dusk and dawn may be more intense.”
In addition, Utah reported the best variety of mosquito entice websites optimistic for the virus within the state’s surveillance historical past, and North Dakota well being officers on Sept. 10 introduced the state’s first West Nile virus associated dying in 2021 in a resident over age 60 in southwest North Dakota. What’s extra, Delaware just lately reported a 69-year-old Kent County man contaminated with West Nile virus, the state’s first such case since 2018.
In the wake of Hurricane Ida, Louisiana well being officers mentioned the state expects heavy mosquito exercise and is taking measures to tamp down breeding websites and reduce the unfold of mosquito-borne ailments. Officials reported seven West Nile virus instances in 2021.
According to Dr. Benjamin Chan, New Hampshire state epidemiologist: “Until there is a statewide mosquito-killing frost, it remains important for everybody to take steps to prevent mosquito bites, including wearing long sleeves, using an effective mosquito repellant on exposed skin, and avoiding outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active.”
Other preventive steps embrace eradicating standing water and cleansing roof gutters, repairing any broken screens in doorways and home windows and sporting insect repellents containing DEET.